SOG Kiku Assisted Knife Review

SOG Kiku Assist Knife

The story about how SOG came to be begins long before SOG existed. The story actually begins in Vietnam, with members of a highly classified US special ops unit, known as MACV-SOG. These members needed to carry a unique combat knife because most of their covert missions were in the jungle. It was years later, in 1986, that Spencer Frazer came across this bowie knife. The knife inspired him to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission for the company was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools. These tools have been filed proven by the US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. It doesn’t matter if you are protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s every day challenges, or facing your most extreme conditions yet, you should lead the way with SOG. This tools are forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, and honed for you.

Spencer Frazer is the founder and chief designer at SOG. He has always been a creative person who has had a great curiosity of how things worked. While he was in the Boy Scouts, he gained an affinity for knives and axes, but it was much later in his life that that interest would be channeled into actually creating knives and tools. He graduated from UCLA as a math and science major and started his own company in the professional audio industry. Then he went on to work in the aerospace defense industry as a n R&D tool/die and model maker. He also became involved in the modern art movement and began meeting with top artists. This is where he learned about scale and color. Spencer feels as if all of his life experiences converged the moment Spencer saw his first Vietnam SOG Bowie. He has said, “the knife was magical in how it looked and felt. You could see the history as well as the functional aspects of the this knife.” Later on, Spencer said, “We don’t settle for ordinary. We never did, and we never will.”

Recently, SOG has released a brand new knife called the Kiku Assisted, and let me tell you, it is anything but ordinary.

SOG Kiku Assist Knife
SOG Kiku Assist Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Kiku Assisted is made out of VG-10 steel. This steel is a well-known, high end Japanese steel. This steel is considered premium, in fact, the G in the name stands for “gold” because this steel has reached a “gold standard”. This steel was designed for high quality blades that are used in kitchen cutlery. One of the reasons that makes this steel such a great option for kitchen knives is it’s ability to withstand rust and corrosion. People who use this blade every single day, can go about a week without washing or oiling the blade and the blade still refuses to rust. But, that feature also comes in handy in other knife types, so this stainless steel has been used for top of the line hunting, pocket, and tactical knives. This type of steel always excels. This steel can also take a crazy sharp edge. Not only can you get a crazy sharp edge on the knife, but it is a very easy steel to sharpen. Most beginners will be able to pull off sharpening this knife. And the last major benefit to the edge on this steel is that it holds an edge for long periods of time. This is also a very durable knife and because of the vanadium in the steel, it is also known for its toughness. A big benefit to this type of steel is that it is a very hard steel but it doesn’t seem to be brittle.

There are two different finishes that you can choose from when purchasing this blade. The first option is a black TiNi finish. This is short for Titanium Nitride. This is actually the very best coating finish that can be applied to steel. The main purpose that it achieves is adding a sleek, black finish to the knife as well as increasing durability. This type of finish is known to be both extremely scratch resistant as well as extremely peel resistant. Something that makes this type of coated finish unique is that it is applied to the steel through a unique process of plasma deposition that is performed in a completely air-sealed vacuum. This sets the TiNi finish apart from the other finish in the manner of how smooth and even the finish is on the steel. A big complaint about many of the coated finishes is that near the edges, it appears as if the coating has run or built up, but you won’t get that with this finish.

The other finish option that you have is a satin finish. This is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted, which is matte, and mirror polish, which is a high gloss. This is the most popular finish on production knife blades. It excels at showing off the fine lines of the steel. This is a very classic finish.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape isn’t designed to be an all-purpose knife, it is designed to do one thing and one thing really well. The tanto shape has been designed for piercing through tough materials. This type of blade was originally designed for piercing through armor and is similar to the Japanese long and short swords. However, in the early 80’s Cold Steel modernized it and popularized it. To form the shape, the tanto has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The point is much thicker than most knife shapes and contains a lot of metal near the tip. Because of those two characteristics, it is able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to snap or break. The front edge of the blade meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. This means that the tanto shape does not have a belly. Because the shape is lacking a belly, slicing is not going to be as smooth, and these knives are not as useful in a general utility sense. But, because you sacrifice the belly, you get a much stronger tip that can be used in tough situations. One of the other drawbacks to this knife is that it is harder to control the point.

This knife sports a straight edge. There are a variety of benefits about having a straight, or plain, edge. Some of them are that they excel at push cuts (which are the more common cuts), they are easier to sharpen, you can get a finer edge on them, they can peel, they can slice, and they can skin. The straight edge is definitely the more traditional edge. Some people are worried that they aren’t going to be able to cut through the tougher or thicker materials, because with a serrated edge, you can saw through those. While serrated edges do perform better in those situations, if your straight edge is sharp enough, it will be able to manage those same tasks. And because the blade on the Kiku Assisted is made out of VG-10 steel, you will be able to manage those tasks.

 

SOG Kiku Assist Kknife, Satin
SOG Kiku Assist Kknife, Satin

The Handle:

The handle on this knife has been made out of a linen Micarta. This is a material that has been made with the organic compound Phenol, which is a type of resin. To make the Micarta, thin layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phenolic resin, which makes a product that is lightweight, strong, and looks a little classier than G-10. This material was actually originally introduced to the world as an electrical insulator and is now one of the best plastics out there for making knife handles. However, Micarta actually has no surface texture and is very slippery and smooth. This means that it requires a lot of hand labor to produce and then carve some sort of texture into the knife handle. This makes Micarta a pricier material, which means that your knife is going to be more expensive because of it. The linen Micarta on the Kiku Assisted knife is a green Micarta that has plenty of grooves carved into the spine and the bottom of the handle. These grooves will provide you with a secure grip in most situations. This is a brittle material that can break if impacted with a very hard or very sharp object. To keep your fingers safe, there is an elongated, shallow finger groove and a finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Kiku Assisted knife is the classic SOG pocket clip. It has been skeletonized because “SOG” has been carved into the middle of it. This is a low carry clip that is reversible. This means that you can carry it on either the traditional or nontraditional side of the knife, helping to make this knife ambidextrous. This is a black pocket clip that matches the black hardware on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening folding knife. The assisted mechanism on it is the thumb stud. The thumb stud is a small stud that lies on the butt of the blade, near the handle. The thumb stud sits on the side of the blade near where the blade pivots on the handle. This makes for an easy and smooth opening operation. This is also one of the most common opening mechanisms on the market. This is a very comfortable way to open your knife with only one hand. However, the drawback to having the thumb stud mechanism is that it puts your hand very close to moving blade. There are plenty of people who have slipped while deploying their knife and slicing their thumb. While using a thumb stud, you do have to be careful.

This knife also sports the SOG Assisted Technology, which works through the balance of opposing high tension coil springs. As you initiate the opening action, the force propelling your blade open becomes greater than the force keeping it closed. The result is a blade that springs open instantly once it is engaged, seemingly on its own.

The Kiku Assisted knife sports a button lock.

 

The Specs:

The Kiku Assisted boasts a blade that is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. When the knife is closed, it measures in at 4.6 inches, and has an overall length of 8.1 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.6 ounces. This knife originated in Taiwan.

 

Conclusion:

SOG has a reputation of designing and building trusted knives that can take a beating. They build durable knives to get you through not only your everyday tasks, but also the challenges that accompany any adventure. These knives are field tested, so you know that they are going to be able to take on whatever you throw at them. These tools are tools that you can trust and rely on. The Kiku Assisted knife is no different.

To create an impeccable knife, they started out with one of the highest quality steels. This steel is easy to sharpen, you can get a crazy sharp edge, and the edge will last long. Because of how stainless this steel is, maintenance is a breeze. The tanto style blade is the perfect blade for piercing through even the toughest of materials. The handle is durable and strong, but also lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about this knife weighing you down. The thumb stud is an efficient way to get this knife open and you don’t have to worry about it closing on you because of the button lock. Get your brand new Kiku Assisted today at BladeOps.

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